There was Jesuit interest and involvement in the monumental Dictionary of Irish Biography (DIB), which was launched on 18 November in St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle, before some 500 people. Among the longer entries was Bruce Bradley’s article on James Joyce, running to over 11,000 words. Conor Harper wrote on John Sullivan, and Peter McVerry on Michael Sweetman. Todd Morrissey contributed six articles, two on bishops (William Walsh of Dublin and Edward Patrick O’Dwyer of Limerick), and four on Jesuits: James Archer, Peter Kenney, William Delany and Tom Finlay. Todd has kindly acquired the nine-volume set at a reduced price for the Milltown Library, where thankfully they will continue to be available to readers. See further details of the publication below.
Dictionary of Irish Biography: Cambridge University Press: 2009. Managing Editor: James McGuire.
In 9,014 entries, covering 9,700 lives, the first edition of the Dictionary of Irish Biography from the earliest times to the year 2002 outlines the careers at home and overseas of prominent men and women born in Ireland, north and south, and the noteworthy Irish careers of those born outside Ireland. Biographical range in length from 200 words to 14,000. The chronological scope of the Dictionary of Irish Biography extends from the earliest times to 2002. The living are not included.
Biographical subjects include artists, architects, scientists, lawyers, journalists, actors, musicians, composers, bankers, sports men and women, religious figures, pop stars, writers in Irish and English, engineers, criminals, public servants, politicians and philanthropists. If Ailbe, early sixth-century patron of Emly, is included, so too are Maureen O’Sullivan (1911–98), film actress, David Huddie (1916–98), Rolls-Royce engineer, Luke Wadding (1588–1657) Franciscan friar and historian, Christy Ring (1920–79), hurler, Thekla Beere (1901–91), civil servant, Hugh MacCurtin (c.1680–1755), poet, Louie Bennett (1870–1956), trade unionist, Seán Ó Riada (1931–71) composer, Frank O’Connor (1903–66), author, Arthur Guinness (1725–1803), brewer, Terence O’Neill (1914–90), politician, Roderick O’Flaherty (1629–1718), historiographer, Norah McGuinness (1903–80), painter, Paddy Brosnan (1917–95), Kerry footballer, Ernest Walton (1903–95), physicist and Nobel laureate, James Ussher (1581–1656), scholar and prelate, Paul O’Dwyer (1907–98), lawyer and political activist, and Danny Blanchflower (1925–93), soccer international.